Organised Labour has rejected government’s proposal for 18% increment in the base pay of public sector workers.
At a negotiation meeting on Wednesday, Organised Labour maintained that they cannot accept anything less than 60% increment.
In an interview with a representative of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), he noted that they have changed their initial demand from 60% to 65%.
He indicated though that they are going to consult on government’s offer.
“As you are aware, we have read the budget and there is an indication that there will be an increase in VAT of 2.5 … so this is fresh information that they have brought to that table. Because the budget has indicated certain issues in relation to VAT and the tax bracket to increase our burden,” the representative of CLOSAG said.
Also, President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Isaac Owusu rejected the offer, but said leadership of the Union will consult with its members to know the way forward.
“We are not representing ourselves, we are representing the larger group of teachers that are working in the country, so the stance of Organised Labour we are bound by it,” he said.
The representative of the Trades Union Congress also insisted that they won’t back down on their demand.
“We’ve been considerate for years and many things have gone wrong, so I think that this is the time to right the wrongs. The Single Spine Salary Structure is the most indecent structure in this country and we think that this is the opportune time to right the wrongs. So we have not been difficult…we are the same people that took the four and seven percent and so we won’t take anything below 60%,” he added.
But Deputy Employment Minister, Bright Wireko Brobby stated that he is disturbed by the turn of events.
“We have met but labour insists on a figure, so we will go back and reconvene …We have tabled something and labour says that they are unwilling to take it. So it is a clear state of frustration, of course, you do not expect me to be happy when there is this state of affairs,” he said.
The two parties met to negotiate the way forward after previous attempts also ended inconclusively.
Prior to the meeting on Wednesday, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warned that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.
According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they insist on paying anything less than 60%.
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.
He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.